The past 6 or so years have been a rough time for fans of System of a Down. The future of the band seemed too unclear and all the members seemed too busy in their various side projects to really focus on the greater good. They made a comeback after a 5-year hiatus in 2010 and finally made their way Down Under for Soundwave this year, though fans have handled all this with cautious optimism. But in a recent interview with french website Boulevard Brutal, bassist Shavo Odadjian has given us all solid hope.
The interview was revolving around their recent reformation and international tour, though Odadjian was quick to diffuse the term ‘reunion': ” We never said we were broken up; we were on a hiatus. We shouldn’t have even said anything [about taking a break]. There’s a lot of bands that don’t release an album every year. There’s a lot of bands that take three, four or five years off here and there, but they don’t say ‘hiatus’, so no one really notices it,” (obviously referring to the 5-year break the band took).
It appears that the band themselves can see a future in the project. The musician himself seemed undeterred by their current lack of momentum: “We’ve been a band since 1993. I don’t think we’re ever gonna be broken up. [laughs] Whatever happens, we’re always gonna be together. We can go [for five years without doing anything with the band] and then come back and play shows and maybe make a record, maybe not — who knows? Maybe make ten records. Maybe tour for five years. I don’t know.”
SOAD frontman Serj Takian’s solo career seems to be somewhat of a sticky wicket for the rest of the band members, though it doesn’t look as though any of them are minding the downtime while he carries on with it, as he continues to say, “we now wanna do whatever we wanna do. And I hope everybody understands that. But we’ll never break up… I’m one of the most, like, ‘wanting-to-tour’ guys in the band. Actually, the three of us [Shavo, guitarist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan] really wanna tour a lot more and do a lot more. [But] Serj [Tankian, vocals] has got a lot on his plate right now, which is cool.”
Nothing has been said yet about new SOAD material, and it’s starting to look more and more like a pipe dream. The more comfortable these bands get without releasing material, the longer it will be. Perhaps rather than justifying their chosen path, they should do what it is that bands are supposed to do – tour and make music, not excuses.